by Maria Morell, Argentina
As days go by, we are going deeper and deeper into the analysis of concrete case studies of post conflict transitions. After reviewing the Argentina transition and the unstopping seek for justice and the “right for truth”, and the South Africa’s reconciliation process in which the truth telling process conducted through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission served a crucial role in the healing of the wounds of past, during the past two days, two lecturers joined the Symposium to illustrate us in the transition in the Former Yugoslavia and Liberia: William Stuebner, Former Special Advisor to the Prosecutor of the ICTY, and Ambassador Jacques Paul Klein, Special Representative of the Secretary General to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Coordinator of UN Operations in Liberia.
Ambassador Klein introduced the practical examples of how complex a setting a peacebuilding mission is. There is virtually no one aspect of a society that remained unaffected by the struggles of war. Security and stability, justice and reconciliation, governance, protection of the population, economic recovery, governance and state building, all have to be achieved. During yesterday’s session there was a single aspect that grabbed my attention: it took months after the settlement of the UN Mission in Slavonia to re-establish a local “stamp” and bring the post office to function again. The example of just setting up a stamp represented for me in this context made me reflect upon what the word “statebuilding” means. The multidisciplinary group of young professionals that we are, has donated vivid contributions to all the discussions. Some of us coming from law will extremely defend justice, others will focus more on the reconciliation. Together we are influencing each other to understand that one aspect should not exclude another, and that there will be many challenges, infinite challenges, from facilitating the re-creation of social bounds, to respecting the individuality of every victim; from undergoing the reconstruction of the mayor political institutions, to facilitate the rebuilding of neighbor’s trust; from the reconstruction of roads, buildings to a simple piece of paper as a “stamp”.
Focusing on his own experience as part of the visionary group of leaders that made possible the creation of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Stuebner, led fruitful briefings and debates. In that process, as he mentioned, he had the opportunity to meet the one of the formers prosecutors of the Nuremberg Tribunals, which he described as an amazing experience. In the creation of the ICTY, for the first time after the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials, the international community joined effort in 1993 to prosecute war criminals. I admire these men and women presented to us these past few days, as well as my fellow participants, working tirelessly to achieve their ideals for peace and justice.